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Community Readiness


Conference 2019

Call for Presentations

2019 is a landmark year for Ontario’s professional planners. We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation in Ontario; the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer it!

To commemorate this significant milestone, OPPI is facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century by exploring the key issues that reach beyond regional and territorial boundaries impacting professional planners and stakeholders, and addresses issues important to the general public, elected officials and other decision-makers  for decades to come. We will aim to tackle these topics through a variety of educational offerings throughout the calendar year, culminating with OPPI19: Beyond 25 from October 1-3 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

OPPI invites its members, related stakeholders and citizens to submit a proposal to speak at our Beyond 25 Conference, and to express your interest in assisting OPPI in the creation of other educational content throughout the year and beyond.

Key Issues

The key issues that OPPI will be exploring at the Conference are:
  • Climate Change - Climate change is becoming a growing concern in every sector, profession and industry. From a government’s perspective, the list of things that need to be done to prepare communities for exponential climate change seems to grow longer by the day. Planners offer support by finding the most sustainable way to align a community’s diverse needs with the fragile needs of the environment, as Ontario continues to grow and change. Their research and professional expertise can positively affect policies that tackle climate change.
  • Uneven Growth - Ontario’s communities are in a constant state of change. Economic, social, technological and political issues affect growth in both rural and urban areas for better (healthy growth patterns that create sustainable, viable communities for the future) and worse (slow growth or no growth and, sometimes, fast growth that puts a worrying strain on infrastructure).
  • Technology - In today’s age of social media, data collection and internet dominance, and tomorrow’s age of technology yet-to-be-discovered, how will Ontario’s communities fare? Technology speeds things up, it connects more people across broader regions, it can make systems and processes run smoother in all aspects of rural and urban living - so how does a planner factor this in in community development? And how does technology affect the practice of planning itself, with the advent of new tools and platforms to use in researching and retraining? How will the nature of planning be changed by the incoming generation of planners who seem to have been born with a smartphone in their hands?

Essential Questions and suggested sessions

OPPI’s Planning Knowledge Exchange (PKE) Committee has developed a list of “Essential Questions” designed to encourage genuine inquiry into big ideas and core content which should be used when considering whether to submit a proposal.

In addition, the PKE Committee also developed a list of suggested sessions we’d love to see in action at the Conference . If you have other ideas, however, we want to hear from you!
  Please be sure to review the evaluation rubric that will be used to assess all proposals.

We are looking for speakers, authors, sessions and content that challenges convention, sparks dialogue, debate and collaboration. Share your ideas with us today by clicking here!

Key dates

Online submission site opens: Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Submission site closes: December 12th, 2018 at midnight

Submissions must be received no later than 11:59 pm EST on the day of the deadline. Submissions will not be accepted after that time.

Notification of proposal status: March 2019

Conference Presentation Formats

If you would like to speak at the Conference, we recommend you submit a proposal in one of the following formats. If you have a new, exciting and different method for your proposed session, don’t be afraid to suggest it! We are always looking for new, innovative and engaging ways for attendees to learn.

Short, punchy 15-minute sessions designed to convey one or two concepts in a flash. A very popular option that provides considerable diversity for Conference attendees. These sessions also include a 5-minute question and answer period at the end.

Interactive 30 or Interactive 60: Our most popular session types, 30 or 60-minute sessions are designed to transfer specific skills or knowledge on planning-related issues. These sessions should provide practical skill development for planners and can incorporate hands-on experience, audience interaction, lectures and take-away resources. Please note question and answer time is built into both Interactive 30 and 60 sessions.

45-minute sessions led by a facilitator would discuss a topic or challenge and possible solutions. Outcomes are shared with participants - note in this case, your proposal should include a skilled facilitator to guide discussion, rather than a speaker. ​

These sessions are designed to feel more like a conversation and allows for maximum participation by attendees. Seats are arranged in a circular fashion, with 5 seats being left in the middle. These 5 seats represent the “fishbowl,” and anyone sitting in one of those seats is considered a speaker. Audience members are invited to rotate in and out to share their thoughts and continue growing the discussion. Dive into the fishbowl!

These presentations could take the form of Infographics, videos, podcasts, online communities, interactive mapping, blogs, other innovative communication tools or poster presentations (4' high x 4' wide). Presentations will remain open for viewing for the duration of the symposium and presenters will be requested to explain and discuss their work during specified times in the program. Special consideration will be provided to proposals that include reusable digital content that could be added to OPPI’s expanding library of planner-related content, located on OPPI’s Digital Learning site.

NEW for 2019! Are you using new, innovative technology (e.g. 3D printing, 3D modeling, drones, “smart” technologies, etc.) at work? Do you wish to demonstrate the use of this technology, and showcase how it could be used in the context of a professional planner’s practice? Tech demos are intended to orient attendees to how technologies could complement their existing skillset and aid in a planner’s work in the public interest.

This session format gives local planners, OPPI members and other related professionals the opportunity to share local sites or projects. For the 2019 Conference, OPPI hopes to contain mobile workshops within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for ease of travel. Transportation could be on foot, bike, or public transit. Please note the transportation requirements in your proposal and be aware that workshops requiring chartered buses can be offered at an additional cost for participants.

Unlike other session formats where the content relates back to the thematic areas, mobile workshops are not required to focus on these themes. This is your opportunity to showcase the best in planning in the GTA!

Student members of OPPI will be invited over the summer of 2019 to submit proposals for either media presentations or lightning talks based on their research. Further information on the student Call for Presentations will be shared at a later date.

Other content formats

In addition to presenting and discussion your work at OPPI19: Beyond 25, we welcome you to indicate your willingness to help us deliver educational opportunities throughout the year in several additional formats:
  • The Planning Exchange Blog: OPPI’s blog is a member-sourced platform designed to explore contemporary planning approaches and issues important to your practice, and the public interest. Share your thoughts with Ontario’s professional planners!
  • District events: OPPI’s seven Districts are active year-round, providing members with events designed to educate participants on contemporary issues, often with a local flavour.
  • Livestream/webinar: digital, accessible, popular. Present your research or recent work to your colleagues through an internet livestream or webinar platform.
  • OPPI Website: the new OPPI website will explore planning issues from across the province through case studies, and how RPPs help to improve the quality of life in various Ontario communities. Do you have a case study you would like to share?
  • Y Magazine: OPPI’s new publication will be used to showcase to fellow planners and the public the role and value of RPPs in Ontario and how they work with the public interest in mind.
  • Do you have an additional format you’d like to use to help facilitate the exchange of knowledge for the betterment of planning in Ontario? Please let us know!

How to submit your proposal

All proposals must be submitted using the online submission system. Fax or hardcopy versions will not be accepted.

The online submission system will be open on Thursday, November 1st. Start preparing your ideas now!
Submissions must contain the following information:
  • Title of session/piece of content
  • 300 word session description (will be used on the Conference program, social media descriptions, etc.)
  • Identify the thematic area the presentation fits into (climate change, uneven growth, or technology)
  • 3 learner outcomes
  • Contact details and biographical details for all speakers/facilitators/contributors
  • Techniques planned to engage the audience (if submitting a proposal for the Conference)
  • Length of presentation (if submitting a proposal for the Conference)
  • Requirements for audio/visual equipment or transportation (if submitting a proposal for the Conference)
  • Whether you are willing to be recorded and/or livestreamed (if submitting a proposal for the Conference)

Selection Criteria and Review Process

All Conference proposals will be peer reviewed, and each reviewer will assess proposals against a previously established criterion. Click here to view the criteria.

All other proposals will be reviewed by OPPI’s Planning Knowledge Exchange Committee and considered based on identified needs of membership.

Please note: content that is intended to solicit business or sell products/services will not be considered.

Review Process
  • All submissions will be peer reviewed.
  • The Committee that reviews submissions may determine that a proposal could or should be presented in a format other than that proposed. The submitter will be consulted in this circumstance.
  • The main contact person listed on the proposal will be contacted via email with a final decision.
  • The decision of the Review Committee on the inclusion or rejection of a proposal, and the presentation format, is final.
  • Reviewer comments will not be supplied to those who have submitted proposals, nor will the Review Committee respond to requests for comment regarding rejection of any proposal.
If you have any questions about potential sessions or the call for content, please contact us by email at